GREAT BARRINGTON — Just as the physical landscape of Main Street will be altered soon with the reintroduction of new trees, the commercial landscape of that stretch also is changing.
The Gypsy Joynt, for eight years one of the top venues for live music in the county, as well as an eatery known for several specialties, has shut down for good.
In addition, 20 Railroad Street, one of the oldest and most well-known bar/restaurants in town, and another popular nightspot, The Well, both have changed hands and are expected to reopen under new management within the month.
Local businessman Benjamin Downing is partnering with Laura Shack, who is also the owner and manager of Firefly Restaurant in Lenox, on the Railroad Street venture.
The business currently is closed and renovations have begun, said Downing, who is not related to the state senator with the same name. He and Shack also are working on a new menu.
The new business will be called the 20 Railroad Public House, he said. Downing said he hopes for a mid-May opening once renovation work is completed.
"Twenty" has been open for decades, and is a throwback to the old honky-tonk Railroad Street days. Downing and Shack hope to retain some of that ambiance.
Also closed for renovations is The Well, a bar/cafe located at 312 Main St. New owners Richard and Hilary Drucker, who also own the Barrington Outfitters clothing store at 285 Main St., are hoping for an early May opening.
Richard Drucker said Barrington Outfitters will remain his full-time job.
"Actually, the Well is Hilary's business," he said. Hilary Drucker formerly owned the former Neighborhood Diner down the street.
Former Well co-owner Derek "Biff" Sisco said he and his wife, Juliet Popper, have no specific plans in mind. They opened The Well nine years ago.
"To be honest," Sisco said, "I'm looking forward to my first summer off in years."
Gypsy Joynt owners Keith and Lori Weller announced on their Instagram account that they were returning to their former home in Galveston, Texas.
The Wellers and their five children moved to Great Barrington in 2009.
In addition to being a well-respected restaurant, the Gypsy Joynt was known as a major venue for local artists. The venue hosted CD release parties, musical theme nights and open mic nights for emerging artists.
Thomas Levin, who owns the building in which the Gypsy Joynt was located, said the lease for the business will run out at the end of the month.
He said he was somewhat surprised when the Wellers announced they were leaving.
"I thought they were going to renew," he said.
However, Levin said he has had a number of inquiries about the space.
"I'm not comfortable at this point making any announcements [about potential tenants]," he said.
The Wellers announced they also were closing their clothing store, Gypsy Joynt Clothing Co., located at 282 Main St.
Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.